The 90th Anniversary of the Venerable Matt Talbot’s death was marked by a triduum of events over the weekend. The Novena Mass which was held in St Agatha Parish in North Fitzwilliam’s street on Friday the 5th of June opened the events. Matt Talbot was born in Aldborough Court which is in the confines of the parish; also Newcomen Bridge, where Matt took the resolution to give up the drink is also within its boundaries.
On Saturday, the 6th of June, a special Solemn Mass was held in Our Lady of Lourdes Church which houses Matt Talbot Shrine. The Mass was a memorial Mass not only for Venerable Matt Talbot, but also to remember all the good people who have died over the years in the inner city. Matt Talbot reflects the goodness and piety of his generation, which was very much nourished and sustained by their faith that saw them through their hardships. The Mass was followed by a Service of light and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, during which people were invited to light a Candle. A group of volunteers stood also outside inviting people to come in and light a candle. Hymns and prayers were said during the vigil, and there was a very serene and peaceful atmosphere.
The actual day of the Anniversary, Sunday 7th of June, was marked by a special Corpus Christi Mass at the Dominican Church, St Saviour’sin St Dominick Street. Fr Brian Lawless, vice postulator of the cause of Matt Talbot, presided at the Eucharist. Also concelebrating were Fr Eddie Conway O.P., Parish Priest, Fr Cyril Odia S.D.B., and Fr Richard Ebejer S.D.B., Administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
After the Mass the congregation went out in procession to Granby Lane as the Rosary was recited. A small Altar had been set up at the place were Matt Talbot had collapsed and died, (set up by the Legion of Mary with kind permission of the Salvation Army). Fr Lawless explained to the small crowd gathered at the place, Matt Talbot’s last moments. Mrs Vera Brady, a member of the Matt Talbot Diocesan Commission, then laid a wreath at the plaque marking the place. A prayer for the canonisation of Matt Talbot, was said before the blessing with Matt Talbot’s relic was given. A hymn to our Lady brought the simple ceremony to a conclusion.